Needed: Everyday Leaders (Everyone is Eligible)
"A great leader's courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position." -John C. Maxwell
David sparked a fruitful conversation around waste when he gently asked the cafeteria manager at his workplace whether food might be served without unnecessary containers or wrapping, unless requested.
Sarah read about the effects of television on children and turned off her family's TV. The children now play board games, make up skill, play music, cook, read and play much more outside.
William began a weekly meeting for men at his church to fill the need for fellowship and support beyond the annual men's retreat.
Nobody is likely to write a book about David, Sarah or William. But these everyday leaders are creating just as much impact in their workplace, family and community as the captains of industry and politics.
Indeed, the challenges and opportunities of today's world require that we all step forward and lead every day, become our own captains and find more of our own personal best to give to the world.
Leadership as a Way of Life
Too often, we believe that leadersip is the domain of those with recognized authorit and the title to go with it: CEOs, conductors, mayors. principals.
"In a world that is changing as rapidly as this one, we need to think differently about leadership," says Susan Collins, author of Our Children Are Watching: Ten Skills for Leading the Next Generations to Success. "Leading is not done by those few in high places, but by parents and teachers and managers and those governing--all working together to create the world that we want."
When we dare to stand up for our beliefs or to follow through on our big dreams and ideas, when we act as though what we say and do in the world maters -- maters greatly -- we are leading.
In other words, leadership is a way of life, an expression of our fullest and best nature, our unique gifts.
Qualities of Leadership
Because leadership is inextricably connected to who we are deep down, every leader has a different style. But the inner qualities that make for effective leadership remain constant among all type of leader:
Positive Attitude. Leaders know they can alter their lives by altering their minds. Self-disciple, a sense of security and confidence blossom in the presence of a positive attitude.
A drive for learning. From others, from opportunities, from mistakes. Those who stop learning, stop growing.
Unwavering commitment. No great leader has ever lacked commitment. True commitment requires and inspires courage, passion, focus, initiative and responsibility.
Communication. Sharing knowledge is essential; more imprtant is listening. As President Woodrow Wilson said, " The ear of the leader must ring with the voices of the people." Likewise, the ear of a parent must ring with the voices of their children.
Interest in others. The best leaders thrive on helping others achieve their personal best; they are motivated by a desire for the highest good for all rather than personal glory.
So if you're looking for a leader--TIME TO STAND UP!